The last thing I want to do right now is write! I’ve got a headache from staring at a computer screen all day, so I think I’ll just do a brief update on my time at The Age so far.

So far it has gone quite well – I’ve already got a couple of by-lines for minute little contributions to the paper and for a longer article online, and I have something on the boil which should (hopefully) appear next Monday.

I have tried to jump in, and the Police writer a Mr Paul Millar has taken me under his wing somewhat and given me a hand with stuff.

So far the major things I’ve done are:

A couple of interviews about the flooding down here, and how it will affect mosquitoes (?)

Interviews with various athletes about the sport of roller derby (??)

Interviews with the Correctional Services Minister and Commissioner about a mobile phone sniffing dog (???)

And an interview with Sam Newman, who approached me swinging a milk bottle after I’d waited outside Channel 9 for an hour and a half for him, sure he wouldn’t show (????!)

So I guess so far I’ve been having some good experiences. People at The Age are surprisingly helpful and have been quite generous with their time and opportunities.

It has been very, very interesting to see how stories are developed. The mosquito story, for example, was about the possibility of a Ross River epidemic because of the stagnant waters left over from the flooding. The idea for this didn’t come from a scientist or from the health department or anything, but from a journalist desperate for a fresh angle on the flooding. When he pitched it to the news editor, the news editor said ‘where’s all this stuff about mosquitoes coming from?’ and the pitcher said ‘me!’. Then we went busily about calling academics to try to get one to say there was a danger of mosquito infestation…

That’s all I can bear of typing right now, hope to see others’ updates and read all about how you’re going.

PS – This is the second time I’ve been in a newsroom for a momentous prime ministerial moment (as I’m sure it is for a lot of other Jscholars) – but both times I have been much too busy to bask in it, or even find out much about what was going on :/